‘The Revisionist’ heralds Jesse Eisenberg’s return to the stage

Jesse Eisenberg.

Jesse Eisenberg.

Most people know Jesse Eisenberg as the star of 2010’s The Social Network, or more simply as a movie star. After all, his performance in the film earned him an Academy Award nomination. However, film acting is just one of Eisenberg’s many talents. His first love was the stage.

Eisenberg’s acting career began when he discovered theater as a child, and he made his Broadway debut in Summer and Smoke in 1996. Even as he made himself a household name by working in front of the camera, Eisenberg never completely left the stage behind. This spring he is returning to his theatrical roots in New York, starring in a show he wrote himself.

The Revisionist, Eisenberg’s latest theatrical project, opened off-Broadway on February 28 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He stars alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Daniel Oreskes as David, a man who arrives in Poland and meets his distant cousin (Redgrave) on an exploration of family and history. 

The Revisionist runs until April 27 and is directed by Kip Fagan. The play is a collaboration with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Rattlestick is an organization known for their commitment to supporting playwrights like Adam Rapp, Jon Fosse, and Jessica Dickey.

Vanessa Redgrave and Jesse Eisenberg in 'The Revisionist'.

Vanessa Redgrave and Jesse Eisenberg in ‘The Revisionist’.

Eisenberg began working with Rattlestick in 2011, when he made his playwriting debut. His first play, Asuncion, also played at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and just like with The Revisionist, Kip Fagan directed and Eisenberg starred in the show. The production also starred Camille Mana and tells the story of two friends whose ideas are transformed by a new roommate. Eisenberg has said that he is a big Woody Allen fan, and Asuncion reflects that.

Asuncion, and perhaps more of Eisenberg’s work was inspired by Scarcity, the first show he performed in off-Broadway. Written by Lucy Thurber, the show premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company. In this darkly comedic play, he portrayed a teenager with a dysfunctional family. Scarcity sparked something in Eisenberg and inspired him on his own playwriting journey.

Even as he spends his current evenings onstage, Eisenberg is not about to let that Oscar of his get dusty. He has three films in post-production, and is in the process of lending his voice to the character of Blu in Rio 2. He may always be associated with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and those infamous Winklevoss twins, but Eisenberg a has a whole lot more up his sleeve – both on the stage and the screen.

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.
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3 Responses

  1. I saw the play two weeks ago and I had no idea he was so funny! And he was so nice after the show. I’ve been watching a lot of his interviews now and he seems like an awesome guy.

  2. I love the actor and the playwright. I saw The Revisionist last week. What a talented guy.